What Is Child Relocation
Child Relocation is the changing of a child’s living arrangements so that it makes it difficult for the child to spend time with both parents.
It is often one of the most common family law questions that we are asked.
If parents have equal and shared parental responsibility, they should try and make a genuine effort to resolve this issue amicably.
If there are no court orders in place, we must look at the legislation and the relevant case law to understand how judges apply the law to individual cases.
The relevant legislation is s65DAA of the Family Law Act.
The section explains the step by step process that the Court is required to follow when considering if a child should be spending equal time or substantial and significant time with each parent.
Child Relocation Cases Australia
Rosa’s Case is one of the leading authorities in Australian Family Law when it comes to the relocation of a child.
A mother started an application as she wanted to live in Sydney after her separation with the 5yr old child’s father.
The young family had recently moved to Mt Isa for the father’s new job and had been living there for only 7 months before the mother wanted to move back to Sydney with the child.
The mother lost her Initial Application in court but later won the application on appeal to the High Court.
The initial judge concluded that the child should stay in Mount Isa and that the father’s proposal for both parents to share parental responsibility was in the best interests and welfare of the child.
The Family Consultant also recommended that the child should stay in Mount Isa as it would not be beneficial if the parents of the child lived so far apart.
The High Court then examined the decision and looked at the circumstances of the mother and if the mother relocating to Sydney provided the best outcome for the child.
In Mount Isa, the mother had to live in a caravan park and had limited opportunities for employment. She supported herself by casual employment and Centrelink payments. The mother was angry and depressed as a result of being in Mount Isa.
In Sydney, she had work opportunities with flexible hours and access to her family support.
The mother’s application was successful in the High Court and she was allowed to then relocate to Sydney.